A poet pens some lines (without any rhymes) to put us all on the pavement to the pub on time

© Jeff Moore


YOU HAVE TO ADMIRE a business that works out a way to capitalise on the worst crisis to hit the world since World War II: all pubs were closed.

That changed last Saturday, of course, when Britain’s boozers finally opened their doors to punters thirsting after a whole springtime of vacant bar stools, dry pipes and un-bought ale thrown down drains.

But Tottenham’s Beavertown Brewery was ready. With actor-poet-comic Tim Key’s help, it devised a way to write itself into history. He penned a love letter to pubs to amuse the would-be drinkers expected to queue outside pubs. Now his words can be found in perfectly inscribed metre-spaced lettering on pavements outside 10 pubs in northeast London. 

The verses evoke the “tingling with anticipation” as those desperate for a drink among company await “the paradise of smiles” after “a long exile” from the public house.

ichael O’Brien, manager of once-buzzing the Three Compasses at Dalston Lane E8 1NH © HerbieRussell
Optimist: Michael O’Brien, of the Three Compasses, is hopeful as lockdown eases

Loving Dalston spoke to Michael O’Brien, manager of the once-buzzing Three Compasses in Dalston Lane E8 1NH. 

He was off duty the night the poem was stencilled on to the pavement outside, so he had “a nice surprise the next morning”, on Independence Day, 4 July 2020, when lockdown was eased. He said: “Everybody was excited to be coming back to the pub and the poem added a bit of joy to the day.”

He believes the pub will prosper in the gradual lifting of lockdown.

Tim Key said “the thought of the ice-cold pint, infinitesimal bubbles dancing off its surface, condensation glistening on the glass gave me all the inspiration I needed”. 

Founder: Logan Plant, owner of Tottenham-based Beavertown Brewery

Herbie Russell 080720

* The nine other pubs offering the poem with a pint are the Clissold Park Tavern; Royal Inn on the Park; Howl at the Moon; the Old Ship; the Faltering Fullback; the Pineapple; Beavertown Taproom; the Rose; Neighbour

* All pictures on this page © Jeff Moore, apart from pic with cyclist, which is © David.Altheer@gmail.com, and of Michael O’Brien (© Herbie Russell). All are for sale for reproduction. 

* Backstory: Pint and a Hackney horseburger, please;

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